Delightful old pictures show Thetford through the decades

Walkers wend their way through breckland on saturday during the annual 24 mile Thetford Chase Walk,

Walkers wend their way through breckland on saturday during the annual 24 mile Thetford Chase Walk, 4th April, 1993. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Take a trip down memory lane with our fabulous photographic celebration of East Anglian life through the decades. Today we take a nostalgic look back at the market town of Thetford, situated 28 miles south west of Norwich.

Central Hotel in Thetford, dated 24th August 1983. Photo: Archant Library

Central Hotel in Thetford, dated 24th August 1983. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Despite it’s reputation as a modern town grown out of a council initiative to relocate people and businesses from London to Norfolk, Thetford is rich in history and has some strong links to some of history’s most influential and interesting figures.

The roots of the town can be traced back to pre-Roman times and Iceni warrior Queen Boudica was believed to have lived there and to have used it as her base to plan her battle to overthrow the Romans.

Thomas Paine, born in 1737, attended Thetford Grammar School, before going to America where he wrote Rights of Man and Age of Reason and became very active in the American and French Revolutions,

Controversial Indian prince Duleep Singh, the last Sikh Maharajah of the Pubjab, lived at Elveden Hall during the 19th century,

Crowds gather for the carnival procession in 1986. Picture: Archant Library

Crowds gather for the carnival procession in 1986. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library


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And, of course, Thetford was a major manufacturing centre for Charles Burrell’s steam traction engines in the 1800s, making what was regarded as the Rolls Royce of the steam industry until the 1920s.

Copies of the images featured in this story are available to buy via our photo sales website or alternatively can be ordered by phone on 01603 772449.

Thetford Forest fire officers and vehicles. Picture: Archant Library

Thetford Forest fire officers and vehicles. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

A tranquil scene at Thetford river, 1950s. Picture: Archant Library

A tranquil scene at Thetford river, 1950s. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

Parking on King Street was already a thorny issue in 1963. Picture: Archant Library

Parking on King Street was already a thorny issue in 1963. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

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